“Divide and Conquer”
I had heard about this strategy, but never gave it much thought. I assumed the extent of its use was in war and since I wasn’t a general I didn’t have to worry my little head about it. Then the divisions over abortions and redefining marriage to include same-sex unions arose and it occurred to me that, in Christian America, you couldn’t have picked two better issues to divide the country, if you planned it. I was in no position to make an informed judgment on this, so I pushed it to the side.
Then it cropped up later in a Foreign Relations class when my professor explained to me how Southern Democrats used it to turn the freed blacks and the poor white sharecroppers against each other to keep them from working together. This kept them from working as one to change the power status quo. You can read more about that here. I kept it in the back of my mind. Now we have both poverty and racial division increasing and the Democrats are exploiting it. So once again we can’t work together?
More recently we learn from the Podesta emails how the Democrats, namely, the Clinton campaign tried to start a Catholic Spring in the Church. I think most Americans understand that politicians are not the most honest of people, but to intentionally subvert the religion of American citizens and to racially divide the country as a means to gain power goes beyond the pale. There’s not much we can do about keeping politicians from trying to exploit our differences, but I think we can do more to keep from being exploited.
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men – Robert Burns
Just because someone plans something doesn’t mean that it’s going to work. Even violence, which is normally a highly effective method of coercion, is ineffective if a person is prepared to die. It’s the same for a divide and conquer strategy. It requires our cooperation to work.
“Test all things and hold fast to what is good”. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Our salvation is in Christ
Christ is our salvation. The Holy Spirit leads us to the truth of God’s Word (His Son) and words (the Bible – which is encapsulated in The Word). Not only are we to trust The Word of God, but we are to listen to Him and adhere to His teachings. God addresses the issues currently dividing our county explicitly making it very simple for Christians to know which side of the issue they should be on.
- Abortion – “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Exodus 20:13
- Marriage – one man and one woman as it was from the beginning. Matthew 19:3-7
- Racial divisions – Love your neighbor as you would love yourself. Mark 12:31
It’s truly that simple.
Common sense and some reflection go a long way
My problem B.C. (before Christ) was I didn’t take the time to sit down and really reflect on the issues. On a peripheral level I understood an unborn child was a baby. This is probably why I took the stance of saying a woman should have a right to an abortion, but I wouldn’t have one. Why wouldn’t I have one? Because I knew on some level it was a human person. Common sense told me that. Why would I then say that I believed it was okay to kill this person who was innocent of any crime? Because I didn’t sit down and reflect on what I was really saying. I didn’t take into account that it was an injustice and went completely against the core of everything I believed. We can spout that we are for social justice all we want, but unless the doctrines of social justice are actually just, then we’re just spouting nonsense. Common sense will tell us that an idea cannot be both just and unjust at the same time, but we don’t realize that unless we take the time to truly reflect on it. And we should take that time, because lives, sometimes innocent, are involved.
Issues at the state or federal level will affect everyone in that geographical area. On the federal level that is approx. 360 million lives; not only our lives and those of our contemporaries, but the lives of those who follow. When something is going to affect that many lives, then the truly responsible thing to do is to sit down and take a good hard look at it prior to supporting or opposing it, especially when that decision involves killing someone.
Divide and conquer has been a strategy used against people since the serpent first separated Adam and Eve from God. Since then all of us have been adding to it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We have too much going on our side–the Holy Spirit, the teachings of the Church, the Holy Bible, and the sacrifice of Christ–for us to keep falling prey to it. There will be times when the information is insufficient to make a truly informed decision and we will still have to decide, but most of our decisions can be overcome by faithfulness to God, a dose of common sense and taking these decisions seriously.
May we all grow in the understanding of Christ! God bless!
The beautiful post photo was made available for use by jsutcllffe under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.